Speed of Infection

I was just going through the news of Swine Flue. 2 things struck me
1. how the hell did it go from the pig to the man ?
2. The tag of Pandemic given to it.

pt 2 set me thinking. A few centuries back this would not even be a point of fear. Some place halfway across the world has a flu outbreak. When Ashoka was an emperor in India, Mexico was not even on the world map. So that place has an outbreak, its contained in that village , probably a couple of more, and people die. The rest of the world does not even know that they existed.

Fast forward to the 20th century, and information is going around in newpaper print. People get to know that some people died in a far away land. Shrug, talk about how bad it was, and go about their world.

Enter the 'flight' age and then the 'information technology' age. People travel across the world at the drop of a hat. Information is now spreading through casual networks like facebook and twitter. People get to know of a happening even before it happens. ... err... read that as when it happens. No more waiting for DD news or the morning's paper. You get to know it in office... AajTak and other 'sansani' channels pick it up - usually with a video from youtube and have people who don't even know what they are talking about proclaim we are in danger. Add to it , people who are travelling, catch a virus and before the day is out bring it to another country , and it spreads out there.

Scary scenario.

Is it happening or is the media irresponsible in shouting that it is happening ?? How can the death of 150 people be labeled a pandemic ?

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